Miniature Books: 4,000 Years of Tiny Treasures

Overview

Miniature Books is the first lavishly illustrated, authoritative book on the delightful subject of books no taller than three inches. A dazzling array of books on subjects ranging from Shakespeare's plays and the Holy Bible to politics and presidents, children's books, the pleasures of life, and more are shown-with few exceptions-at their actual size.

Here is the prayer book that Anne Boleyn carried to her execution, seen open to its sole ...
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Overview

Miniature Books is the first lavishly illustrated, authoritative book on the delightful subject of books no taller than three inches. A dazzling array of books on subjects ranging from Shakespeare's plays and the Holy Bible to politics and presidents, children's books, the pleasures of life, and more are shown-with few exceptions-at their actual size.

Here is the prayer book that Anne Boleyn carried to her execution, seen open to its sole illustration, a portrait of Henry VIII. Here also are the world's two smallest books (impossible to be sure which is tinier). There are books studded with gemstones, books that Napoleon carried with him on his campaigns, books illustrated by artists such as Picasso, Miró, and Edward Gorey. And there is a section dealing with the papers, printing, and binding of these tiny marvels. The text is lively and accessible, full of great stories and fascinating people. It will appeal to the experienced collector, but also to the one just starting out and to anyone who loves the look and feel of a good book.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Published in conjunction with a May 16-July 28 exhibition at the Grolier Club in New York, this handsome volume traces the history of books ranging in height from three inches to less than a quarter of an inch. Included are books of many kinds, often containing beautiful illustrations-illuminated medieval and Renaissance devotional books, including the world's smallest Bible, chained to its own little lectern; Arabic and Indian scriptures; and the complete works of Shakespeare in a miniature revolving bookcase. Some of these books were intended for amusement, such as those made for Queen Mary's dolls' house; others have more practical uses, such as small traveling libraries and little Hebrew books that could be concealed in times of persecution. The smallest book ever is a New Testament printed in 24-karat gold on a silicon chip. There are elegant bindings in materials such as leather, mother-of-pearl and gold filigree. In their informative text, Bromer, a rare book dealer, and Edison, a collector, discuss the diverse contents of these tiny volumes, as well as papermaking, printing processes and publishers. Their delightful book is a feast for the eye, with more than 260 color illustrations in which most of the books are pictured in actual size. (May)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Library Journal

Rare-books dealer Bromer and Edison (editor, Miniature Book News), a collector, have collaborated on what is clearly a labor of love. This beautifully made, gilt-edged volume, published in association with the Grolier Club of New York, complements an exhibit traveling to four institutions. But it is more than a catalog, offering a concise and careful history of the miniature book as well as more than 260 carefully chosen full-color illustrations, most of which are examples of books reproduced in their actual size. The illustrations consistently appear in proximity to the text discussing the works shown so that the text flows nicely, allowing any reader a delightful glimpse into this very specific area of book production and collecting. A miniature book is generally any book smaller than three inches in height and, as shown by the examples-beginning with Babylonian tablets and ending with a Bible on a silicon chip-the possibilities appear to be endless. A unique work that would make a fine choice for any library; essential for libraries collecting in the graphic arts.
—Prudence Peiffer

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780810992993
  • Publisher: Abrams, Harry N., Inc.
  • Publication date: 5/1/2007
  • Pages: 216
  • Sales rank: 741,896
  • Product dimensions: 10.00 (w) x 10.87 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Meet the Author

Anne C. Bromer and her husband are internationally respected rare book dealers in Boston

Julian I. Edison began his collecting career while still at Harvard College. He has been editor of Miniature Book News for more than forty years. He lives in St. Louis.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2007

    A reviewer

    Miniature books, those tiny treasure measuring not over three inches in height, length or width, have fascinated for some 4,000 years. Some of these books as those exhibited recently in Toledo, Spain, are so small that they can only be seen through a magnifying glass. Current prices for these books vary, and some dealers specialize in them. Today, there is a miniature book society, an international non-profit organization, providing a forum for collectors and interested parties. Now, everything you wanted to know and more is available in this compact, beautifully illustrated volume by rare book dealer Anne C. Bromer and collector Julian I. Edison. The book is dedicated to Stanley Marcus, an avid collector of miniature books and contains a foreword by him in which he said that miniature book collecting gave him the greatest pleasure. He also noted that these small volumes 'enlarged my field of knowledge to a wide variety of subjects ranging from pornography to philosophy, religious topics to small books for children.' And so it is for aficionados. Richly illustrated, Miniature Books includes chapters devoted to illuminated manuscripts, religious topics, politics, children's literature, and more. In addition, there are listings of sources for miniature books as well as mention of those in libraries. Author Bromer notes that she first laid eyes on miniature books some 35 years ago and has been entranced with them since them. So have many - enjoy! - Gail Cooke

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